My son Mark, who lives in Northbrook, IL with his beautiful wife, Marguerite, their 2 daughters, Nicole and Brooke (my wonderful granddaughters), came to visit today. I haven't seen Mark since August when we were in Chicago. Once again, time flies!
Mark directs commercials. We knew he had talent when he was young and could draw anything. To see this talent develop the way it has, is truly remarkable. When I look at him my heart fills with so much love I almost feel as if I will explode. He is such an extraordinary man. He is the most amazing father to his girls, a terrific husband to his wife and a wonderful son.
Mark has a biological mother who raised him until he was 16. At that time, he came to live with his father (my former husband) and I, along with his younger brother Cary. To say our house was chaotic would be the understatement of the century.
Living in our home was my ex, my son Aaron, our Saint Bernard, Bernie and our cat Precious. Soon Mark, Cary, Sunshine (a sheltie) and Rascal (a rascal of a cat) moved in. Life was not the same and hasn't been since. It's better.
My former husband was an abuser. Not with his hands but with his mouth. Verbal abuse leaves scars just like physical abuse. However, while verbal abuse destroys your soul, it leaves no physical marks. Just scars all over your psyche.
He abused our children as well as me. However, the children were the innocent victims. I walked in with my eyes wide open. The pity is I didn't pull them away immediately. I am not certain why we stay with people who abuse us. In my gut, I believe we just become so accustomed to the abuse we don't know any other way to live.
Now that I am older and (I hope) wiser, I realize what a mistake it was to stay. I see what the abuse has done to my sons. What is amazing is that they are all so SANE! They, unlike their father are not abusers. The legacy does not have to continue.
My son Mark has proven that. He is the kind of father that every child should have. His oldest, Nicole, 11 years old, knows there is nothing she can't talk about with her dad. She knows he will always love her, even if he has to discipline her. She knows his love will always be there for her. He makes her feel safe.
He does the same for Brooke who is 3 now. Mark may not be my biological son but he is the son of my heart. I look at him with pride and thank the powers that be that he has become a Man! A wonderful, loving human being, in spite of the abuse that was piled on him.
Mark has a talent for bringing out the best in everyone. Whether they are acting in one of his commercials or students in one of his spinning classes, Mark makes them feel special. Mark makes me feel special and I'm the Mom.
How wonderful, that no matter how old we are, we can learn lessons. Especially loving ones from our children.